Induction of ΔFosB in reward-related brain structures after chronic stress

Linda I. Perrotti, Yuki Hadeishi, Paula G. Ulery, Michel Barrot, Lisa M Monteggia, Ronald S. Duman, Eric J. Nestler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


Acute and chronic stress differentially regulate immediate-early gene (IEG) expression in the brain. Although acute stress induces c-Fos and FosB, repeated exposure to stress desensitizes the c-Fos response, but FosB-like immunoreactivity remains high. Several other treatments differentially regulate IEG expression in a similar manner after acute versus chronic exposure. The form of FosB that persists after these chronic treatments has been identified as ΔFosB, a splice variant of the fosβ gene. This study was designed to determine whether the FosB form induced after chronic stress is also ΔFosB and to map the brain regions and identify the cell populations that exhibit this effect. Western blotting, using an antibody that recognizes all Fos family members, revealed that acute restraint stress caused robust induction of c-Fos and full-length FosB, as well as a small induction of ΔFosB, in the frontal cortex (fCTX) and nucleus accumbens (NAc). The induction of c-Fos (and to some extent full-length FosB) was desensitized after 10 d of restraint stress, at which point levels of ΔFosB were high. A similar pattern was observed after chronic unpredictable stress. By use of immunohistochemistry, we found that chronic restraint stress induced ΔFosB expression predominantly in the fCTX, NAc, and basolateral amygdala, with lower levels of induction seen elsewhere. These findings establish that chronic stress induces ΔFosB in several discrete regions of the brain. Such induction could contribute to the long-term effects of stress on the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10594-10602
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 24 2004


  • Amygdala
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Reward
  • Stress
  • c-Fos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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